18:03 PM

10 Red-Flag Signs Your Psoriatic Arthritis May Be Getting Worse

CreakyJoints explains signs that psoriatic arthritis (PsA) might be progressing according to experts including HSS rheumatologist Elizabeth Schulman, MD.

Dr. Schulman explained that its best to inform a physician of worsening symptoms so they can determine if it is related to PsA. “We would rather know now than have you wait,” she noted.

She continued, “We really care about patients’ activity of daily living and their participation in their work, personal life, and the things they like to do.”

Fatigue is a common and challenging part of living with PsA. According to Dr. Schulman, “When your body is inflamed, it’s chronically fighting itself. The cytokines [immune system proteins] that are stimulated [during chronic inflammation] can cause a patient to feel malaise and fatigue.”

If pain and stiffness is interfering with sleep, or causing early morning wakening, that can also contribute to fatigue, she added.

Dr. Schulman said PsA is different for everyone, but an uptick in the frequency or severity of flares could indicate that a medication isn’t working well anymore. “There are no consistent guidelines to how many flares are acceptable — some would say that no flares are acceptable,” she noted.

More skin flares might be an indication for a change in therapy. “Some medications work better for the skin and don’t work as well for the joints, so it must be a collaborative effort with the dermatologist, rheumatologist, and patient,” said Dr. Schulman.

Dr. Schulman also explained other symptoms that might be signs of disease progression, including back pain, inflammation where a tendon or ligament attaches to bone, swollen and puffy fingers, changes in nails or eye inflammation.

Read the full article at Creakyjoints.org.